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Of Monopolies and Movements

Posted on March 04 2013

For years the automatic movement world was dominated by ETA.  ETA, in fact made most of the movements for a variety of household names such as Omega, Hamilton, Swatch, Breitling, some TAG Heuer, Rado, Longines, and Mido just to name a few.  In fact, Swatch Group, the mighty conglomerate that owns most of the watch brands we know and love from Tissot to Blancpain, has come under regulatory fire in Switzerland for attempting to cut off the supply of automatic movements to companies that are not in its portfolio.

This made big news and was even covered in the New York Times in late 2011.  Basically, Swatch Group was no longer wants to suppl its competitors with is movements and wants to guarantee that when one of its movements goes bad (and they often do) it will come back to them for service.

What does this mean for the small sports watch and tactical watch market?  Smith & Bradley, Ltd. it means opportunity.  During the time the the Swiss watch market is consolidation and struggling to find its footing, and as Swatch group continues to squeeze the competition, Asian watchmakers are continuing to produce excellent quality watches.  From movements that share underpinnings with Swiss classics, to impeccable case design, the pinnacle of Asian watchmaking is now.  Just look at the Seagull Tourbillons.  

At Smith & Bradley, Ltd. we use a variety of watch components from around the world from high-quality Asian movements, cases and bracelets to classic Swiss movements and American Straps.  Despite the turmoil in the Swiss industry, Smith & Bradley, Ltd. has found a way to deliver quality construction, classic styling, and durable dependability in the field with a reasonable cost.  All of this while not falling victim to the Swiss monopoly. 


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